I'm sitting here in my living room at the learning table, eating the last of the leftover barbecued chicken from Memorial Day and drinking a Pepsi (which I probably shouldn't), and trying to get my thoughts together.
Lately I have been feeling awfully scattered. This happens, I guess, when you find yourself moving in a million different directions at the same time, and your routine has been upset, and you're not getting any sleep, and you're anxiously awaiting test results that might provide a clue as to the origin of your nine year old daughter's persistent headaches -- or rather headache, as it hasn't really disappeared in almost a month -- and the lab has already screwed things up once and so you're waiting longer than you ought to. We're in one of those months right now when it seems like we ought to have about two standing doctor's appointments a week. Yesterday I brought Farmerboy and the twins in for an angry red rash all over their faces and arms. Fifth disease. It's going around.
Guess where they probably picked it up.
My husband is convinced that doctor's offices are just a racket. You bring one kid in because she's sick. While you're there, everybody else is exposed to a few million germs they wouldn't have been exposed to had you not had to take everyone to the doctors office, thus insuring that you will be back next week, copayment in tow -- whistling to the tune of $75 yesterday, not to mention $25 worth of gas, and they put us in the room with only one chair.
<Insert break to end dirt clod war -- go over anger management again with Gareth -- pick up the baby who is no longer asleep>
Now where was I? Oh, right. Scattered.
<Are those happy noises outside or more sibling warfare?>
Anyway, as I've mentioned before, I have a problem with my executive functions. As in, I don't believe I really have any. At times like these -- especially when sleep deprivation becomes really chronic (and you must understand that I can probably count the number of nights I've slept through in the past 11 years, so I'm talking about really interrupted sleep here, not just getting up once or twice a night) -- I have a hard time remembering my own name, let alone what I was planning to cook for dinner 5 minutes ago.
<Farmerboy wants computer time.>
<Shush the kids at the other computer. And again. Should I just give up and say we're on break? Or should I insist Gareth do math? If Katydid is feeling well enough to go outside, should she also have to do math? I don't have anything prepared for her...>
So, where was I? Right -- dinner.
Last night I just put some bacon in a pan and started frying it with no idea what it was going into or what else we were going to eat. But I had defrosted it on Friday before I realized that no one would eat what I was planning on making, and I needed to cook it before it went bad. It was our last package of bacon. (We buy only local meat, in measures such as "half a pig", "side of beef", "one lamb", etc.) You'd think it would disappear among some fanfare.
<Insert walking around with baby, watching dandelion seeds parachuting like snowflakes out the window, remember Andy needs a grocery list, write and email the list, read an email from friends on the subject of rabbits for sale...>
Bacon. Anyway, Andy came home and found me frying bacon and asked what was for dinner, so I told him I didn't know, I was just frying it, and he said, well, why don't you let me make eggs, and so I did and that was what we had for dinner: bacon, eggs, and toast. The kids ate it in front of the TV, watching the rest of a movie they'd started Monday, and I must confess that I ate mine in front of the computer. Then Andy let me run up to the convenience store for wipes, all by myself.
Usually we eat a real meal at the table, mostly consisting of the grownups telling the twins to sit down and stop -- whatever it is they happen to be doing. Yesterday I felt like somebody had rubbed sand in my eyeballs. Chipmunk got his first tooth Monday night, so you can probably imagine how much sleep I got. Then there was the trip to the doctor, insuring that the twins got very little nap. I don't even remember now all the stuff they pulled once we got home, but jumping off the coffee table figured prominently, and Gareth and Katydid were cutting down each other's favorite plants.
<Insert arguing with Farmerboy over whether or not he's done with computer time. He is. >
<Insert walking baby.>
<Insert reading really gruesome news story on CNN.com and wondering why I did.>
<Insert answering question about stars for Farmerboy, and observing tadpoles, and letting him back outside, and more walking baby, and putting him down for two seconds so I could go to the bathroom, and picking him back up, and more walking, and going over Gareth's math with him, and talking about a squirrel that climbed up on his open window, and finding out he has a headache, and getting Pip and Pop a snack, and more walking baby, and admiring the hummingbird hovering outside the dining room window, and now the baby is awake.>
And what was I talking about?